A common mechanic in tactical role playing games is the ability to recruit monsters to your party. Final Fantasy Tactics is no exception to this rule. The Behemoth is the monster that justifies having Monster Skill on an ally in your party. Even without this skill, Behemoths are a dominating force on the battlefield. With it, you can essentially have a monster that is both a powerful warrior and a powerful offensive spell caster at the same time. The following guide to Behemoths in Final Fantasy Tactics will help you optimally use this monster in your party.
Innate Ability: Counter (All) – All monsters have the ability to counterattack. The counterattack damage of the Behemoth is the perfect deterrent to keeping enemies from attacking it in melee. This may seem counterintuitive since it deals high melee damage, but it also has amazing area attacks and you generally want your Behemoth focusing on area attacks rather than fighting in melee.
Innate Ability: Can’t Enter Water (All) – Behemoths can never enter water. Since Behemoths only have a mediocre movement rate, this is a bit limiting for positioning. Luckily the area attacks of a Behemoth are so large that positioning often doesn’t matter too much.
Special Ability: Stab Up (All) – Stab Up is the basic attack of the Behemoth. It deals massive damage, but will rarely be your first choice even if the Behemoth is in melee combat. If you can deal enough damage with it to kill an enemy, use it. But, if you can’t, Sudden Cry is usually the better option.
Special Ability: Sudden Cry (All) – All Behemoths can use Sudden Cry. It is a melee attack that deals half as much damage as Stab Up assuming your behemoth has maxed out Brave. It also has no vertical tolerance which means the target must be at the same height. Assuming this is true, it is generally optimal despite the lower damage, because it has a chance of applying the Dead status. A one-hit kill is basically always better than damage.
Special Ability: Giga Flare (Basic Behemoth w/ Monster Skill) – Giga Flare has a range of 4 squares, hits a massively large area, and deals very high damage for an area power. If possible, you want to use Giga Flare every round until all enemies die.
Special Ability: Hurricane (King Behemoth w/ Monster Skill) – Hurricane has the same range and area of Giga Flare, but the damage is based on the hit points of the targets being hit. It always deals damage equal to 1/3 of the maximum hit points of the enemy. This means that three hits will always kill. In the late game, especially, this is an excellent ability and absolutely devastating if you can combine it with a Time Mage and the Quick spell.
Special Ability: Ulmaguest (Dark Behemoth w/ Monster Skill) – Ulmaguest is an interesting power because it is only useful when the Dark Behemoth is badly injured. It has the same area and range of the other two Monster Skill powers, but deals damage equal to the difference between the maximum hit points of the Dark Behemoth and its current hit points. If a Dark Behemoth is badly injured but not killed, you can basically kill all enemies with a single attack. This lets you put your Dark Behemoth in high risk situations and then drop a massive amount of damage on enemies. Also, it is generally best to resurrect Dark Behemoths with a phoenix down, because this resurrects it with very little health.
Strategy – You absolutely want at least one character with Monster Skill when teaming with a Behemoth. For the first two variants, simply park that ally next to the Behemoth and let it rain death on the enemies with a long range magical attack that doesn’t cost any MP to use. The best characters to put next to a Behemoth are either a tank of some sort with some skills that can buff the Behemoth or a caster that can cast Quick. The Dark Behemoth is a little different. You want to move it into combat and let it fight with melee attacks for a bit before finally unleashing Ulmaguest. Because Ulmaguest is tricky to use, you generally want the character with Monster Skill to have the Phoenix Down skill in case the Dark Behemoth takes too much damage and dies. A single use of Ulmaguest at the right time will usually end a battle.